Du Châtelet Prize

The Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics celebrates excellence in philosophy of physics and promotes breadth across the field both historically and philosophically.

The Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics is supported by Duke University in collaboration with Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

2022 Call for Papers

Descartes's Metaphysical Physics


The deadline for submissions has now passed. Check back soon to learn the winner!


Submissions are invited on any topic relating to Descartes’s physics, from the details of his physics to issues in the epistemology, methodology, or metaphysics of his physics. Authors are encouraged to consider themes arising in Dan Garber’s 1992 Descartes’s Metaphysical Physics, or in the literature on Descartes’s physics that has developed since. The scope of the prize includes the reception of Descartes’s physics, and we welcome submissions that incorporate previously under-studied figures who engaged with Descartes’s physics during its reception in ensuing centuries.

Committee: Roger Ariew, Dan Garber, Dana Jalobeanu, Alison Peterman, Sophie Roux

For more details of the prize and of submission requirements, contact Katherine Brading at katherine.brading@duke.edu



Measurement practices in the physical sciences: correlation, calibration and stabilization


Jamee Elder, “On the ‘direct detection’ of gravitational waves"

Miguel Ohnesorge, “Pluralising measurement”


Alisa Bokulich, Hasok Chang, Daniel Mitchell, and Wendy Parker


Mathematics as a tool of conceptual innovation in physical theory and/or experiment, 1780-1890


Joshua Eisenthal, "Hertz's Mechanics and a unitary notion of force”


Janet Folina, Doreen Fraser, Lydia Patton and Sheldon Smith



How matter acts on matter: unsolved problems in the philosophy of physics, 1700-1760


Adwait Parker, “Newton on Active and Passive Quantities of Matter”


Katherine Brading, Mary Domski, Andrew Janiak, Chris Smeenk, and George Smith

"Physics is an immense building that surpasses the powers of a single man. Some lay a stone there, while others build whole wings... still others survey the plan of the building, and I, among them."